Illegal Immigrants Receiving Health Benefits Despite Legislation
Illegal immigrants are receiving health benefits in dozens of counties across the country despite legislation that rules out that possibility, The Wall Street Journal reports.A survey by the newspaper has found that of 25 counties with the most illegal aliens, 20 are helping them get basic health services.Those include: doctor visits, prescription drugs, lab tests and surgeries.
\\\"The services usually are inexpensive or free to participants, who must prove they live in the county but are told their immigration status doesn\\\'t matter,\\\" The Journal says, noting local politicians believe it is cheaper than to treating them in the hospital emergency rooms.But critics say these free services encourage more illegals to move in. The total cost? As much as $1 billion a year, the newspaper says.
California Mayors Ask For Governor’s Support For Highway Cameras After Shootings
Five mayors in northern California on Thursday asked Governor Jerry Brown in a letter to have surveillance cameras installed on state highways in the area after a string of shootings that have gripped their communities.The request came two days after a man was shot in the leg while traveling eastbound on I-80 in Hercules, California, the 28th such shooting on the state highway system east of San Francisco during the last six months, authorities said.“This is of increasing concern to our elected officials and residents who feel as if our communities are under siege,” said the letter signed by the mayors of Pinole, Richmond and Hercules. The mayors of San Pablo and El Cerrito also signed the letter.Since November 2015, four people have been killed and 12 wounded in shootings that authorities believe are largely gang related, the California Highway Patrol said in a statement.
Local and state law enforcement agencies began targeting known gang members and increased patrols since the shootings began along the freeways, the patrol said.The mayors asked Brown to support funding for the installation of surveillance cameras with recording capabilities on area freeway ramps and upgrades to current traffic cameras so they would be able to capture and retain images that could be used during investigations.
The mayors wrote the situation is a “grave and growing risk” in their communities where freeways have become a “battleground.”Officials in Brown’s office were not immediately available for comment. San Pablo Mayor Rich Kinney said in an email to Reuters that the mayors, state transportation officials and governor staff are scheduled to meet to discuss the letter on June 6.The California Highway Patrol said five suspects have been arrested in connection with the string of shootings, some of whom may have been involved in more than one incident.
Brazil’s Rousseff Vows To Fight On After Senate Vote To Suspend Her
Suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff vowed on Thursday she would fight to prove her innocence after the Senate voted to put her on trial for breaking budget laws, a historic decision fueled by deep recession and a sprawling corruption scandal.Rousseff, a leftist in office since 2011, was replaced by her vice president, centrist Michel Temer, who took over as interim president for the duration of a Senate trial that could take up to six months.Speaking shortly before she left Brasilia’s Planalto presidential palace, Rousseff told supporters she was notified of her suspension on Thursday morning. She reiterated what she has maintained since impeachment proceedings were launched against her last December by the lower house of Congress.
“I may have made mistakes but I did not commit any crime,” Rousseff said in an angry address, calling the impeachment “fraudulent” and “a coup.”Rousseff, 68, was flanked by dozens of ministers who were leaving with her administration. Even as many of them wept, Rousseff remained stolid.“I never imagined that it would be necessary to fight once again against a coup in this country,” Rousseff said, in a reference to her youth fighting Brazil’s military dictatorship.Shortly afterward, she addressed hundreds of supporters outside, many of them dressed in the red of her Workers Party, and already shouting “Temer out!”
“This is a tragic hour for our country,” Rousseff said, calling her suspension an effort by conservatives to roll back the social and economic gains made by the Workers Party during its 13 years in power.The party rose from Brazil’s labor movement and helped pull millions of people out of poverty before running into recession and scandal, with many of its leaders tainted by corruption investigations.
The Senate deliberated for 20 hours before voting 55-22 early on Thursday to put Rousseff on trial over charges that she disguised the size of the budget deficit to make the economy look healthier in the runup to her 2014 re-election.Rousseff, an economist and former member of a Marxist guerrilla group who became Brazil’s first woman president, has steadfastly denied any wrongdoing and has called the charges politically motivated.Despite her vows to fight, she is unlikely to be acquitted in her trial.
The size of the vote to try her showed the opposition already has the support it will need to reach the two-thirds majority required to convict Rousseff and remove her definitively from office.“It is a bitter though necessary medicine,” opposition Senator Jose Serra, named on Thursday as the new foreign minister under Temer, said during the marathon Senate debate. “Having the Rousseff government continue would be a bigger tragedy.”With Brazil’s economy mired in its deepest recession in decades, the incoming Temer administration sought to show it would act rapidly.
Temer aides said the incoming government would announce a series of austerity measures to help reduce a massive budget deficit. An immediate effort would seek to reform Brazil’s costly pension system, possibly setting a minimum age for retirement, said one advisor.Temer appointed Henrique Mereilles, a former central bank president and banking executive who is popular with foreign investors, as finance minister, a press officer said.
Rousseff earlier dismissed her cabinet, including the sports minister, who is in final preparations for the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in August, Brazil’s Official Gazette showed. The central bank governor, who has ministerial rank, was not included in the decree.As suspended head of state, Rousseff can continue to live in her official residence, and is entitled to a staff and use of an Air Force plane.Fireworks erupted in cities across Brazil after the Senate vote. Police briefly clashed with pro-Rousseff demonstrators in Brasilia during the vote, but the country was calm early Thursday, with scattered celebrants in São Paulo and other cities draping themselves in Brazil’s green, yellow and blue flag.
Temer, 75, a constitutional scholar who spent decades in Brazil’s Congress, now faces the challenge of restoring economic growth and calm at a time when Brazilians, increasingly polarized, are questioning whether their institutions can deliver on his promise of stability.In addition to the gaping deficit, equal to more than 10 percent of its annual economic output, Brazil is suffering from rising unemployment, plummeting investment and a projected economic contraction of more than 3 percent this year.“Only major reforms can keep Brazil from moving from crisis to crisis,” says Eduardo Giannetti da Fonseca, an economist and author in São Paulo who has written extensively about the country’s socioeconomic problems.But those changes, including an overhaul of pension, tax and labor laws and a political reform to streamline fragmented parties in a mercenary Congress, could remain elusive at a time of turmoil.
In a statement on Thursday, Moody’s Investors Service said continued political tension was likely to make reforms difficult. “Brazil still faces significant credit challenges including the need to reverse the ongoing economic contraction and to achieve meaningful fiscal consolidation,” the ratings agency said.Wild cards remain for Temer himself, including still-pending investigations by an electoral court into financing for his and Rousseff’s 2014 campaign.Then there is the far-reaching kickback probe around state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.SA), which has ensnared dozens of corporate and political chieftains, and helped set the scene for the discontent that hobbled Rousseff.
Weakening War On Islamic State
A power struggle within Iraq’s Shi’ite Muslim majority has intensified as attempts to form a new government flounder, threatening to turn violent and ruin U.S.-led efforts to defeat Islamic State.For the first time since the U.S. withdrawal at the end of 2011, Shi’ite factions came close to taking arms against each another last month, when followers of powerful cleric Moqtada al-Sadr stormed the parliament in Baghdad’s Green Zone.Rival Shi’ite militiamen took up positions nearby, raising the specter of intra-Shi’ite fighting similar to events in the southern city of Basra in 2008, in which hundreds of people were killed.Trucks carrying those militiamen, armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns, patrolled the capital in clear view of the security forces, video published on the website of Iranian-backed group Saraya al-Khorasani showed.
The crisis presents the biggest political challenge yet to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, a moderate Shi’ite Islamist who took office in 2014 promising to defeat Islamic State, mend rifts with the minority Sunnis and Kurds, and root out corruption eating away at state income which has already been eroded by a slump in oil prices.Sadr, the heir of a revered clerical dynasty, says he backs Abadi’s planned political reforms and has accused other Shi’ite leaders of seeking to preserve a system of political patronage that makes the public administration rife for corruption.
His followers stormed the heavily fortified Green Zone on April 30 after rival political groups blocked parliamentary approval of a new cabinet made up of independent technocrats proposed by Abadi to fight graft.A commander in Saraya al-Khorasani, which deployed near the Green Zone in response, made it clear that they would fight rather than allow Sadr’s followers to occupy the district which houses parliament, government offices and embassies.“We are here to kill this sedition in its cradle,” the commander, dressed in green camouflage and a black turban told his fighters, the online video shows.
The prospect of violence receded a few days later as the Sadrists left the Green Zone and the rival militiamen were replaced by army and police.But the episode offered a glimpse into a struggle for dominance within the Shi’ite community which is supposed to be united in the push to defeat Islamic State, the ultra-hardline Sunni group that seized around a third of Iraq’s territory in 2014.
“We were only inches away from a violent, bloody scenario,” said a senior Shi’ite lawmaker, echoing comments from security and government officials who all declined to be named speaking about internal divisions.At a meeting on May 1 by members of the National Alliance, a loose political umbrella group formed in 2010 by the main Shi’ite groups including Sadr’s, the other Shi’ite leaders “were convinced he had crossed a line”, the lawmaker said.Sadr did not attend the meeting but those present “sent him a warning” that his supporters could be removed by force if necessary, said the lawmaker who took part in the meeting.Two other politicians who attended confirmed the message was sent to Sadr, a 42-year-old whom critics often deride as an upstart, accusing him of trying to dictate terms to the rest of the National Alliance.
“Unfortunately there are politicians ready to burn Iraq for their own interests and ambitions under the pretext of reforms,” said Ammar al-Hakim, a prominent Shi’ite cleric who has ties to Iran and heads the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, one of the main components of the National Alliance.Sadr has mobilized tens of thousands of followers over the past few months to pressure Prime Minister Abadi to follow through on his reform pledges, which are also backed by Iraq’s top Shi’ite cleric, Grand Ayatalloh Ali al-Sistani.The last episode of Shi’ite infighting spilling over into deadly violence was in 2008 when Abadi’s predecessor, Nuri al-Maliki, ordered the army to battle Sadr’s followers in Basra to end their control over parts of the southern region where most of the OPEC nation’s oil is produced.Unlike the current situation, Sadr was confronted then by government troops, not a militia.
But it was still considered intra-Shi’ite because the army is mostly made up of Shi’ites and Maliki, a politician close to neighboring Iran, had a sectarian agenda that also alienated Sunnis and Kurds during his eight-year rule.Maliki handed over power to Abadi in 2014 after the army failed to stop Islamic State’s advance, and is now considered an adversary of the prime minister.Iraq’s most powerful militias receive funds, weapons and training from Iran, putting them at odds with Sadr who once benefited from Iranian support but has positioned himself as a more nationalist leader.
Saraya al-Khorasani and Badr Organisation, one of the top Iranian-backed groups, along with Sadr’s Peace Brigades and dozens of smaller groups, fight alongside the U.S.-backed Iraqi army against Islamic State, under an umbrella group known locally as Hashid Shaabi, or Popular Mobilisation Forces.Their unity of purpose, though, appears to have begun to fray and the Iranian-backed militias’ show of force demonstrates the state’s struggle to confront their growing power.After a string of deadly bombings in Baghdad last week claimed by Islamic State, politicians from Badr and Sadr’s bloc accused each other of complicity.Sadr, meanwhile, appears intent on claiming the mantle of the country’s leading reformer — a move that may be aimed at least in part at positioning himself for nationwide elections over the next two years.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായങ്ങള് താഴെ എഴുതാവുന്നതാണ്.
ദയവായി അവഹേളനപരവും വ്യക്തിപരമായ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങളും അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങളും ഒഴിവാക്കുക.
വായനക്കാരുടെ അഭിപ്രായ പ്രകടനങ്ങള്ക്കോ അധിക്ഷേപങ്ങള്ക്കോ അശ്ളീല പദപ്രയോഗങ്ങള്ക്കോ 24ന്യൂസ്ലൈവ്.കോം , അമ്മത്തൊട്ടിൽ.കോം ഉത്തരവാദിയായിരിക്കില്ല.